The Zimbabwe National Water Authority needs US$1 million to complete outstanding civil works at a new water treatment plant to end Beitbridge’s perennial water woes, and another US$3 million to pay off service providers, an official has said.
Zinwa spokesperson Mrs Marjorie Munyonga yesterday said civil works at the plant were 90 percent complete.
“There is a challenge of funding and we are still awaiting the release of funds from Government,” she said. “As Zinwa we are exploring other sources of funding for the project which we cannot disclose at this stage.”
Mrs Munyonga said the outstanding civil works included raw water pumps and sand for the filters.
The programme started in 2011 and was set for completion in two years, but has been delayed due to the inadequate funding.
So far, Government has spent US$13 million on the bulk of civil works at the plant. The new treatment plant has a pumping capacity of 2 160 cubic metres of water per hour.
Beitbridge town needs at least 15 000 cubic metres of water per day, but Zinwa is pumping only 3 000 cubic metres.
Upon completion, the water treatment plant is expected to augment water supplies to the border town with a resident population of more than 42 000 and an additional 10 000 transit people per day.
Zinwa pumps water from the Limpopo River into its two storage dams, but due to constant break-downs of its main pumping system and inadequate filters, the firm relies on one dam which feeds into the reservoirs.
Beitbridge town’s water and sewer reticulation system relatively improved between 2009 and 2011 following the repair of the infrastructure by the World Bank under the Beitbridge Emergency Water Supply and Sanitation programme.
The World Bank spent US$2,65 million as an immediate response to the cholera outbreak, which swept across the country in 2008.
Further, the construction of the 63-kilometre Zhovhe-Beitbridge water canal, which seeks to promote irrigation farming and address the town’s water challenges, has taken long to take off the ground due to funding challenges.